Fishermen Advised to Let Go of Rare Fish

Sebugwaawo Ismail
Filed on March 17, 2010

RAS AL KHAIMAH — Environmental authorities in Ras Al Khaimah have asked fishermen not to catch rare fish or other non-edible aquatic creatures in order to protect and preserve the emirate’s marine life.

The move came after an Emirati fisherman caught a rare Ocean Sunfish from the Al Rams Sea area of Ras Al Khaimah on Monday, which weighed more than 100kg and handed it over to the Ras Al Khaimah Environmental Protection and Development Authority to be used for marine research purposes.

Dr Seif Al Ghais, Executive Director, RAK Environmental Protection and Development Authority, said, fishermen should not catch rare fish species like the Ocean Sunfish and other non-commercial marine creatures that are toxic and not fit for human consumption. “In case fishermen find rare fish or other sea creatures among their catch, they should return them in the sea immediately before they die,” said Al Ghais.

He said the Ocean Sunfish that was handed over to the department by an Emirati fisherman, who was identified as Omar Abdullah Kaseen, is usually found in the oceans and is known for spawning about 30 million eggs each year.

Al Ghais who is also a specialist in marine life said this fish species may be harmful for human consumption as it contains big quantities of toxic substances in their eggs and bodies.

According to Kaseen, he realised that he had netted the Ocean Sunfish which looked rare to him after pulling his net from the sea.

His colleagues helped him to pull it out of the water and carry it to the beach since it was too heavy.

The fishermen said the fish was about 150cm long and 180cm wide and it was the first time a fisherman in Ras Al Khaimah had caught such a fish in the local waters.

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